Millennial Research, Corp. of Tulsa has proven its production prototype 100 kilowatt Magnetronic motor/generator at an oil well pump site, costing 53% less than what power from the grid would have cost. The design is a radical departure from the century+ old paradigm.
Generator in lab
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA — Tuesday marked a major milestone for Millennial Research Corporation (MRC) with their announcing the results of recent field tests of their 100 kilowatt Magnetronics™ motor/generator, which uses a radically different design that has many advantages over the traditional motor/generator designs that have hardly changed in essence since Tesla introduced the induction motor in 1883.
Seeing their press release, I gave a call to CEO, J. Darin Long, to probe a little deeper. We've been tracking Millennial since about July 2007, and I visited their facility in October of 2008 when they were still in Utah and was very impressed.
In their recent field test, not only did the Magnetronic™ perform as expected, providing usable electrical power over a much wider range of speeds, from idle speed (1000 rpm) to 2100 rpm (generating from 30 kW to 100+ kW); but its cost came in at 53% below what the same energy would have cost had it been provided by the grid at that location.
The lay person would think it makes total sense for a generator output to be governable through the speed of the driving engine, like what you have in an automobile; but that is actually not the case with classical generators. They are designed to run at a certain speed, or within a narrow speed range — not across a wide range of speeds for a wide range of outputs. Not so with the Magnetronic generator. It is able to match the load requirement through its rpm. This holds true whether it is in motor or generator mode. This is huge.
The customer? An active producing oil well in southwestern Kansas. Not only were they happy with the results of the 20-day test of the production model, but they want to install more of these systems.
With their appearances at recent trade shows, and now with this newest announcement, the orders are flowing in to MRC, which is expected to be ready to start delivering finished units in the time frame of July through September, as they finish prepping the supply line. In fact, the response has exceeded the expectations they articulated in their business plan.
Once all components are collected, the actual assembly of a 100 kW generator will take less than an hour for the mechanical components, and about 2.5 hours for the electrical wiring. "In 5-6 hours we can have a 100 kW generator from components to the spin bench for its test cycle," Darin told me.
Bear in mind that until mass production is under way, the first units will be more expensive than traditional generators. Part of the reason the test system came in at a lower price was a) their distance from grid power, b) the cheap price of natural gas as the point of extraction (which powers an engine that turns the Magnetronic™ generator). But the other advantages help compensate for the initial higher price, especially in the oil well industry. The wind industry could see similar benefits, as would the portable vehicle industry, from golf carts to SUVs.
One of the advantages that is more significant and is turning more heads than anticipated is how easy the system is to service compared to other similar set-ups. Because of the modular design of the coils that go into the generator, they will (in future versions) be able to be swapped in/out while the generator is running, with just a screw driver. That's unheard of simplicity.
The Magnetronic motor/generator doesn't use iron in its core, but air. They also have a 3-coil module for three-phase power.
The next versions of the system are expected to be very eye-appealing. Within a year, they plan to begin working on larger and smaller output versions, including sizes small enough to power home appliances.
In his announcement newsletter, MRC's CEO, J. Darin Long, stated:
"This is an exciting time at MRC. Today we have issued our first press release on PRNewswire. The press release … represents a momentous occasion for all of us. It represents the most significant milestone reached by our company to date, namely, the successful completion of our field test and the publication of our first field test report for public consideration."
Prior to the recent field test of their production prototype model, they had done weeks of in-house testing. And prior to that, they had an earlier unit, from which they modeled and made this unit.
I asked Darin how the company has been recouping from its loss of three of its leaders in the July 10, 2010 (Tesla's birthday) plane accident (in my opinion, that probably wasn't an accident, involving a severed/tampered fuel line). He said that emotionally it was hard for them, because they were all long-time friends and associates; but that they have worked through the grieving process. Regarding the continuity of the business, he said that prior to the accident, they had already been taking measures to ensure continuity; and that this is what enabled them to keep moving forward despite this setback.
The company is entertaining licensing inquiries, as well as investment inquiries. Pre-launch is one of the best times to invest in a company.
Millennial welcomes interested, qualified parties, to visit their facility, witness their bench tests, observe the data collected on a dynamometer in real time over various speeds, and compare the Magnetronic system to competitor's designs on the same bench setup.
This ability to work in their lab can help facilitate the educating and designing for the myriad of applications that the licensees may wish to pursue.
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This story is also published at Examiner.
- April 24, 2012 Announcement
- Millennial_Research_Corporation-Technology_Presentation-Rev_4.ppt (2.5 Mb) – A PowerPoint presentation that dates prior to October 11, 2008; but still has some relevant info.
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